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Little Nikita (1988)

PG | | Drama, Thriller | 18 March 1988 (USA)
An FBI agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper agents and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roy Parmenter
...
Jeff Grant
...
Richard Grant
...
Elizabeth Grant
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Konstantin Karpov
...
Scuba
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Verna McLaughlin
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Barbara Kerry
...
Brewer
...
Bunin
...
Sgt. Leathers (as Robb Madrid)
...
Spessky
...
Miguel
Roberto Jiménez ...
Joaquin
Chez Lister ...
Tom
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Storyline

Roy Parmenter is a veteran FBI agent who has spent the last 20 years trying to find the Russian agent who killed his partner whom he calls Scuba. When a couple of deep cover Russian agents are killed Parmenter thinks Scuba is the one doing it. The Russians who have received word from Scuba that if they want him to stop, they have to pay him. So they send a veteran Russian agent, Karpov to stop him. Parmenter was tasked with performing background checks on people applying for certain things requiring security clearance and when he comes across Jeffrey Grant who's applying to the Air Force Academy, he discovers that his parents' info is false. He also learns of Karpov coming into the country and suspects that he is here to stop Scuba and that Karpov went to the city where Jeffrey and his family live, so he decides to keep an eye on Jeffrey and his family. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He went to bed an all-American kid and woke up the son of Russian spies.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sleepers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,733,070 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's director Richard Benjamin once said of working with actor River Phoenix, "He is not only a superb actor but he is real. Only the truth is in him, and it's wonderful to see". See more »

Goofs

Jeffrey says he need a new clutch for his truck, but in a scene before that he is driving and only makes one shift, after that the truck is heard making automatic transmission shifts and his arm does not move. See more »

Quotes

Roy Parmenter: Jeffrey Nicholas Grant.
Jeff Grant: Well, that sounds official.
Roy Parmenter: Your parents are Russian spies. Your parents are KGB agents. "Sleepers," they're called.
Roy Parmenter: Deep cover. They blend with the country they're assigned to. Own homes, hold jobs, raise families. They sleep for years. But when they awake, they're lethal.
Jeff Grant: Let's go back to your Air Force Academy investigation. What happened to that?
Roy Parmenter: What about it?
Jeff Grant: What happened to your investigation?
Roy Parmenter: There wasn't any.
Roy Parmenter: Richard and Elizabeth Grant entered this country ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in American Masters: Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Along The Way
Written and Produced by David Kurtz and Jack Allocco
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User Reviews

FBI agent stumbles upon Soviet spies while interviewing Air Force Academy hopeful.
29 January 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

The fact that the basic plot of this movie is ridiculous fails to ruin it. FBI agent Roy Parmenter (Sidney Poitier) is interviewing Jeff Grant (River Phoenix) for his possible entrance into the Air Force Academy. While reviewing Grant's file he discovers that his parents Richard (Richard Jenkins) and Elizabeth (Caroline Kava) are not who they seem to be. They turn out to be dormant Soviet spies, `sleepers', who have come to the United States and started a life with their son, who has no idea they are spies.

I won't even go into how silly it is the way Parmenter discovers this, as if computers REALLY work that way. Suffice it to say, when he finally tells an incredulous Jeff about his parents, several other sleepers have already been murdered by renegade double agent Scuba (Richard Lynch). Scuba wants money from the KGB and if he doesn't get it, he will kill every sleeper on his list, the Grants included. The former boss to all these agents is Constantine (Richard Bradford), who is sent to San Diego to collect Scuba and take him back to Russia for punishment.

Scuba is finally captured, by Parmenter, whose partner was murdered by Scuba some 20 years prior, so he has a personal reason for wanting Scuba too. The aforementioned characters wind up on the trolley going towards the Mexican border and an exchange between Parmenter and Constantine, who has abducted Jeff, occurs. However, once at the border, Scuba makes a run for it and all hell breaks loose.

As I said earlier, as implausible as the plot is, the movie is actually quite enjoyable and somehow suspenseful. While you may find yourself rolling your eyes at certain points, you'll also find yourself chuckling at some of the dialog and situations the characters find themselves in. Loretta Devine, as Jeff's teacher Verna McLaughlin, is hilarious in the scene where she is caught in bed with Parmenter by Jeff. `No problem,' she says when Parmenter apologizes, `I'll just go topless for the whole student body!'

Despite the fact that Scuba is the ultimate enemy I found myself cheering him on because Lynch is such a powerful actor. You want to see him on the screen more, no matter what he's doing. The fact that he's not in the film enough is my only other complaint about it.


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